31 July 2007
Is it the last day in July already? Napoli beach season!
I cannot believe how July has flown by so quickly! We are now quickly approaching Italy's Ferragosto (Day of the Assumption). Everything either shuts down or is unexpectidly on "sciopero" (strike). Cities turn into ghost towns and everyone is either at the beach improving their eternal tan or out of the country.
Here in Naples, if you are of any means, you head for another Mediterranean beach such as those in Greece, Tunisia or even as far away as Sharm-el-Sheik (ok, that's on the Red Sea). For these lucky locals the airport has even built a new terminal for their package tours -it is called (drum roll please) Terminal 2! Yes, we have a very small airport for being such a large city.
The majority of locals who can't afford to leave usually end up at one of the many local private beaches. The beaches are mainly private because that is the only way of assuring both the cleanliness of the beach and the amenities of a sun chair and umbrella (not to mention a covered parking space). Trust me when I say that you wouldn't want to be on a public beach -the things that wash up would be better suited for a Cabinet of Curiosties. Some of the better ones also provide a lifeguard, cafe bar, cafeteria, "animazione" (entertainment mainly for the wee ones), workout equipment, private changing rooms, etc. In other words, you'll feel like you're at a resort.
Since I have a little bambino I am constantly reminded to take him to the beach. Here it is medically necessary to take little ones to the seaside because the airborne iodine helps to develop their little lungs. The sun also "fa benne" because being pale in summer is just not good -they need to 'toughen up the skin.' Even when I try to explain that sun damaged skin isn't a good thing for a family prone to skin cancer they just shake their heads and say, "live for today don't worry about tomorrow."